Release Date:  22 February 2009
NGO Monitor: Amnesty’s Gaza Weapons Report Targets Israel’s Means of Self-Defense
(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor today urged caution ahead of Amnesty International’s report on weaponry used during the Gaza conflict, which is set to be released tomorrow (Monday).  The report, which calls on the US to suspend military aid to Israel, follows Amnesty’s long standing pattern of hostility towards Israel.
As in previous conflicts involving Israel, Amnesty made claims without verification during the recent Gaza conflict.  They condemned the ‘killings of ambulance workers in Gaza’, only for the IDF to later report that many were Hamas operatives.   This latest report continues in a similar manner, accusing Israel of ‘illegal’ use of white phosphorous and other weapons before the IDF or any independent body has conducted an investigation.
During and in the immediate aftermath of the recent Gaza conflict, Amnesty International headquarters issued over twenty statements, and its branches around the world released tens more.  The statements were primarily critical of Israel and included calls for Israeli officials to be prosecuted for ‘war crimes’ over Gaza, while largely absolving Hamas and its state backers Iran and Syria, of responsibility.  Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera illogically argued that Hamas’ violations were so clear as to demand little attention.  She said, "The Israeli authorities deny everything, so one has to prove what happened in a way that you don’t need to do with the Palestinian rockets."    

Amnesty’s statements also made false accusations of Israel’s ‘illegal’ ‘collective punishment’ and ‘disproportionate response’, which have been refuted by legal experts.               

In advance of Amnesty’s report, NGO Monitor’s Executive Director Prof Gerald Steinberg said, "This report is clearly part of a campaign to deprive Israel of the means to defend itself. This is another example of Amnesty’s double standards and anti-Israel bias exploiting the language of international law."
"Amnesty’s reports on Israel are often based on inaccuracies, half-truths and unverifiable allegations from so-called eye-witnesses, and reflect a lack of serious credible research capabilities. In 2002, an Amnesty ‘expert’ first confirmed the non-existent Jenin ‘massacre’, and in the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah, many of Amnesty’s claims were later shown to be unsubstantiated.  The factual errors are amplified by inaccurate statements using the rhetoric of international law, using terms such as ‘disproportionate’ and ‘war crimes’, which they apply far more to Israel than to groups such as Hamas. This ideologically biased pattern was repeated in the recent Gaza conflict."
"Amnesty’s moral bankruptcy is further reflected by the refusal to condemn the aggression and blatant genocidal objectives as proclaimed by Hamas leaders. Journalists who quote from this report without independent verification of the claims, and who omit mention of Amnesty’s systematic ideological bias, are contributing to these false claims."

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Editors Notes:

Please click here or the link below to view the ‘NGO Front in the Gaza War’ section of the NGO Monitor website.

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at 

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

The NGO Front in the Gaza War – Amnesty International – January 25, 2009 

Hijacked by Hatred’: British NGOs Use Christmas for Anti-Israel Attacks – December 23, 2008

NGOs and Durban Demonization at UN Review of Israel – December 3, 2008

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey

For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky

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